Nawaz Sharif’s business model for Pakistan

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The third usurper, General Ziaul Haq, launched Nawaz Sharif into politics to counter the progressive appeal of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). At that time, Mian Muhammad Sharif was the head of the Ittefaq group, a mid-sized businessman from Lahore who fiercely opposed Bhutto’s socialist policies, under which his Kot Lakhpat foundry was nationalized.

I once had the chance to travel with the leader of the National Awami Party (ANP), Comrade Ajmal Khattak. As it was a long transatlantic flight, I had the chance to discuss politics with him. In response to my question about his alliance with Nawaz and his center-right party, he said it was mainly to improve the economy.

Read more: Does Nawaz Sharif want to follow Altaf Hussain’s path?

With the collapse of the USSR, most of the socialists were lost. While China opted for reforms, only Cuba and North Korea maintained the old system. The Zia-Sharif bond was for a new economic order. Zia even denationalized its primitive foundry in Lahore while retaining the highly advanced neighboring company called BECO (Batala Engineering Company).

Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the US both introduced the concept of ‘trickle down’, which meant favoring the rich to grow and invest, hoping the crumbs fall. The approach was deregulation and the shrinking of the role of the state. It was called “Thatcherism” and “Reaganomics”.

Read more: How Biden’s trickle-down explanation challenges the economy

The net result has been an unequal distribution of wealth, with the rich getting richer while the poor collapsing. It is widely believed that Bhutto’s nationalization of operating industrial units was disastrous for the economy, but it was during this period that basic industrialization took place, such as the steelworks, the complexes of fertilizers, defense production, the overhaul of the atomic energy program, mineral and oil exploration. etc.

The big question is, without the launch of a major project from 1977 to 2018, what were the economic gains envisaged by comrade Ajmal Khattak and his center-left progressive party?

Read more: Abdul Razak Dawood: Pakistani industry moves towards industrialization

The new model of resource usurpation

As a metallurgist trainee, I had the opportunity to work at the Ittefaq foundry which was called LEFO (Lahore Engineering and Foundry) after nationalization. It was a primitive factory where cow dung was used for making molds. It was a 19th century outfit where employees worked in inhumane conditions.

While BECO was founded by CM Latif, a very capable and competent engineer, in contrast, Ittefaq was run by lohars (Ironworkers) whose sole purpose was to make quick profits with minimal inputs.

After gaining political power, Mian Sharif, the savvy businessman, decided to create the Sharif Group, leaving his brothers behind. While he was creating Takht-e-Lahore, the whole country became his web. The Ittefaq foundry was finally dismantled and its land sold in plots.

Read more: The unprecedented rise of the sheriffs of Gawalmandi

The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), a party launched from the Muslim League House on Davis Road, has no political ideology. It’s a set of interests, not politics. Instead of the traditional “runoff capitalist economic model”, he proposed his own “resource usurpation model” or “loot sharing mode”.

Plots, permits, loans, PBOs, conflicts of interest, development at public expense, etc. are all inclusive. In “Trickle Down” mode, expansion and wealth generation takes place at the top hoping the crumbs fall.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif denies ownership of properties in London

Nawaz Sharif’s business model

The Sharif model was unique in many ways. After gaining political power, they introduced a “trickle up” approach. Massive loot and looting has taken place across the board. Only the invading armies engage in such a usurpation.

After some research, I could only find two names in the entire party, and both were also charged with wrongdoing. Ahsan Iqbal, the party’s general secretary, faces reference from the NAB for building the Narowal sports complex in violation of the rules as it was a domain of the provincial government.

Read more: Will NAB Arrest Ahsan Iqbal?

Senator Pervaiz Rashid was not allowed to stand for election because he defaulted on payment at the Punjab House where he used to stay. In other words, almost all of the major players in PML (N) have taken advantage of this ‘Lootcracy’ or ‘Trickle Up’ of state assets, to favor a few at the expense of many, including collapse of vital institutions that were trampled on in the process.

The approach is very simple. They should all declare their family assets in 1985 when they entered the political arena and reconcile them with their present wealth. Silver leads must be provided.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif offered a bribe to stop the investigation into his offshore assets, reveals Kaveh Moussavi

The Sharif Group takes over

The “Ittefaq Group” (Mian Sharif and his six brothers) first moved from a three-marlas house in Gawalmandi to the industrial area of ​​Ferozepur Road, next to Model Town. A notice of compliance has been obtained for the residential use of the parcel. Seven mansions were built to accommodate all the brothers who worked together in the nearby Foundry at Kot Lakhpat.

After gaining political power, the Sharif group (Mian Sharif and his three sons) started building the Jatti Umra Estate and the Sharif Medical and Education Complex near Raiwind in the outskirts of Lahore.

The whole area has been developed at the expense of the State. The area is 1500 Kanals of flat fertile land. From 3 Marlas (0.15 Kanal) to 30,000 Marlas, it is a phenomenal rise unprecedented in this part of the world. The land around Baba Farid’s mausoleum in Pakpattan has been illegally allocated to gain favors.

Read more: Al-Azizia Corruption Reference: Is Nawaz Going to Jail Again?

The Elahi Buksh Clinic on Lawrence Road was forcibly taken from the family of Dr Buksh who was buried there. Plots reserved for widows and the poor were distributed to party workers.

One of them built a house across the street in the town of Johar where I lived, and he wasn’t even a widower. He got the title of “Disco” because he installed colorful flashing lights in his veranda.

As a thank you to his boss, he put up a huge billboard on the main canal road depicting Nawaz Sharif accepting a bouquet of flowers from his loyal worker. After the takeover in October 1999, the board suddenly disappeared overnight. He was hiding on the roof of his house.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif’s foreclosed properties to be auctioned off: will he surrender?

Neighbors to tease him warned him that the aerial surveillance unit had marked his house. In a total panic, he not only removed the evidence but also sold his house to save the bonus his boss had graciously granted him out of the widow quota.

Pakistan’s financial cult

Bhutto moved from his socialist model to a mixed economic model in which the public and private sectors could coexist, but the well-being of the population remained paramount. China is now following a similar model after the reforms. Following the international trends of the 1980s and 1990s, Zia opted for the “Free Market” and “Trickledown Mode”.

Mian Nawaz, ably assisted by Abba Ji, launched his own “economic plan”, first as Punjab’s finance minister, then Pakistan’s prime minister. The PML (N) is today a financial sect which has known a long period of “trickle up”. Public sector entities have been deliberately driven into the ground to reduce their value.

Read more: General Zia: The 10-year reign that lost Pakistan’s soul

Privatization is not an abdication, the state may be ineffective, but it must protect public interests through regulatory mechanisms. While the world has suffered from the Trickledown mode, Pakistan has been plundered by the Trickle Up bluff under the guise of economic development.

The Zia-Sharif economic model must be dismantled because the realities on the ground are very bleak. For the past 40 years, the PML (N) has plundered the nation’s wealth as an invading army, which it is not, although it was started by the military in the 1980s. , resulting in a disastrous economic collapse.

Dr Farid A. Malik is the former chairman of the Pakistan Science Foundation. The article has been republished here with permission from the author. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.


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